No Agreement on the Farm Bill

The Agriculture Committee leaders did not reach an agreement on a new farm bill Thursday. House Ag Chair Frank Lucas, House Ag Ranking Member Collin Peterson, Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow and Senate Ag Ranking Member Thad Cochran met for more than an hour in the morning and less than half an hour Thursday afternoon before deciding there was no point to continue. Stabenow expressed disappointment the leaders hasn't reached agreement yet - but stated she would continue to fight for priorities the Senate feels are important. The staff will keep working - but it's not yet known when meetings at the member level will resume. According to Stabenow - the four principals were close to a comprehensive agreement on a number of occasions before the negotiations broke down. She said many chapters of the bill are very close. Stabenow and Lucas had both stated it was important to reach an agreement this week. Stabenow said she doesn't know what the lack of a deal at this juncture will mean for finishing the bill this year. The House held its last votes for the week and will return from the Thanksgiving break the first week of December. The Senate - in session today (Friday) - is not expected back until December 9th. The House is scheduled to depart for the Christmas break December 13th.

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